The Love Chart

I was recently inspired by my magazine Thriving Family, by Focus on the Family to notice “acts of love” throughout the month of February. In our family, we talk a lot about Godly love and how to show God’s love, so this idea of recognizing acts of love went right along with our teaching.

love-chart

How it Works

Throughout the month of February, anytime someone in our family acts in love they will get to pick out a heart to hang on our “Love Chart”. Some examples would be “wow, Claire, you really showed that you love God by obeying me the first time, you get to pick out a heart for our love chart”, or “wow, Landen, you really showed love to your sister when you gave her your last piece of candy, that was kind”.

At the end of every day, we will count how many times God’s love shined through our actions. We will talk about how if we grow closer to God, his love will continue to shine through us. Then we will close the day by praying for God to teach us to love others. This would be a great closing to the day after everyone is ready for bed, or at the family dinner table.

Make Your Own

This board was super easy to make, it was leftover from one of my advent calendars, so I am excited to use it for another holiday.

Supplies:

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Handing out Christmas Presents

There are so many ways to open gifts on Christmas morning. Times of gift giving can be a great opportunity to teach your children about love and gratefulness. It can also be a time to feed greed and a materialistic desire if you are not careful.

In our home we usually hand out Christmas gifts by the “giver”. Each person giving the gifts hands the gift they are giving to the recipient, then they watch them open it. We all take turns doing this. Focusing on the giver, rather than the recipient, aids in teaching the joy of giving. Our children have always loved this and usually delight in watching the gift they are giving be opened.

Christmas Decor and Artistic Play

I was visiting a local store here in my town and found some awesome window clings that are also cute! We purchased some fall themed sets, but they have all seasons and designs!

These are called GelGems, so far I am happy with them. They are a thick gel that clings well to the window. My children have spent a significant period of time arranging and re-arranging leaves and turkeys. The recommended ages are 4+, which I would definitely agree with. My son decapitated a turkey on the first day-he thinks it’s fun to stretch the gels until the tear.

At this point I am definitely happy with my purchase, besides one decapitated turkey they seem to be holding up well.

 

Merry Christmas to your Kitchen

It is the Christmas season! Some years we exchange gifts, some we don’t . Some years I have a gift exchange or other ladies I want to get a small gift for. If you are looking for some ideas for small gifts, this is one of my favorite kitchen tools that is relatively inexpensive.

It is a manual food processor, the price runs ~$12-20. I use this to chop onions, carrots, peppers, garlic, nuts (does a fine chop), potatoes etc. It does a fine rough chop. I usually peel (if necessary) my vegetable, then cut it into big chunks to fit, put the lid on, pull the handle, and in a matter of seconds it is chopped! There are many manual food processors available. I recommend the pull/spin design as opposed to the “pump” design.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Traditions

During October and November I shared a variety of Christmas traditions we have loved in our home. You will find all these posted on the blog. Here is a list of what I shared:

  1. Christmas Around the World- Book and Map Activities
  2. 12 Days of Christmas Celebration- Following Christmas, Names of Jesus 
  3. Travelling Wise men- Fun game teaching about the Wise men travelling to find Jesus
  4. Advent Calendar Ideas- We do themed days throughout all of December
  5. Searching for Salvation- Hide and seek with a gift
  6. Christmas Family Devotional- we will be doing this devotional with Daddy in the evenings
  7. Making an Advent Wreath– a fairly new tradition for us
  8. Decorating Party- Have the family join in on the decorating fun, even the little ones!

I hope your Christmas season if off to a great start!

Decorate the Christmas Tree

One of our favorite traditions is decorating the Christmas tree, and house, as a family. The day after Thanksgiving we turn on Christmas music, pop popcorn, and pull out all the decorations. It’s quite a party. If you don’t already do this as a family, try it this year. Isn’t it more important to have a great family memory than the perfect looking tree? Try making it special by either cutting down your own tree, or having your children help make special goodies for the “decorating party”. It’s the times together that our children will remember.

Decorating Party.png

Advent Wreath

Jesus says in John 8: 12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” What better way to talk about how Jesus come to give us light then by lighting candles!

The Light of the World.png

We had an advent wreath one year when we were living in an apartment. We happened to have no Christmas decorations with us, so we made our decorations that year. One of our favorites was the Advent Wreath. The advent wreath we made was a “flame-less wreath”. We used tubes for the candles and stuffed them with tissue paper that we pulled up when the candle was “lit”.  We “lit” one candle a week, on Sunday, and each time we read scripture to go with the candle and talked about what the candle represented.

This year I asked my husband to make me a real advent candle, I’m thinking a birch log with holes drilled out for candles–something I will want to keep for years to come. He has assured me this is a fire risk and will not make it; we shall see… This year our advent wreath will accompany our family Christmas devotional we will be reading, Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration.

To get ideas to make your own advent wreath google “advent wreath diy”.